The Multiracial Student Scholarship Fund is one of the strategies employed by Thrive, the CRCNA’s congregational services agency, to develop multiracial congregational leadership in the CRC denomination. Recipients of this scholarship attend one of the higher learning institutions affiliated with the denomination -- Calvin University, Dordt University, The King’s University College, Redeemer University College, Kuyper College, Trinity Christian College, and Calvin Theological Seminary. These students have also expressed a strong desire to train for and to engage in the ministry of racial reconciliation through the church and/or in community settings.
Through bountiful gifts given last year, Thrive was able to award scholarships to eight students for the 2023/24 school year. It’s our privilege to introduce you to Benet Dogonyaro, one of these eight recipients. Read his brief biography below and some of his thoughts on the importance of racial reconciliation and fighting racism.
Hello, my name is Benet Emmanuel Bethuel Dogonyaro.
I am the sixth of nine children and was born into a Christian family in northwest Nigeria. I grew up attending church and made a personal commitment to follow Jesus Christ in July 1995. After I became a Christian, I realized I had the gift of singing which I have been using to serve God. I love singing and playing instruments – personally and corporately in worship. Also, at some point I felt called to full time ministry so here I am now at seminary.
I am a second year ThM student at Calvin Theological Seminary, with a major in Worship. I have been an ordained Pastor with the Christian Reformed Church Nigeria (CRCN) for over a decade now. The current consistory I am serving as Pastor is the fifth since my ordination. All these consistories have people from different tribes, cultures, and languages that are different from mine. Through these diverse consistories, God has taught me more clearly that He is the God of all human beings no matter their races, tribes, and tongues. One of the consistent messages I have preached in all these consistories has been that of unity in the body of Christ regardless of our tribal and racial affiliations.
The [Thrive Multicultural] scholarship is one of the best things that has happened to me as a student. It assists in reducing a significant portion of my tuition this semester, and for that I am eternally grateful to God and to all the donors. It also validates the fact that the church of God is made up of people of all races. This is because our donors and many of us who are beneficiaries of this scholarship are from different parts of the world, different races, tribes and languages, yet we are one in Christ. We are bearers as well as means by which God's grace can reach the world.
The grace that God gives comes to all without prejudices, injustices, segregations, preferences, and discrimination. Thus, where those exist in the world today are solely human inventions from hearts devoid of God’s love for all sinners. Therefore, it is wise for every believer to do our best possible to fight racism not only in the Church, but the world at large as we depend on God’s enabling grace to help us succeed. The grace of God is the solution to racism in the world.
If you feel led to support this valuable scholarship fund and students like Benet, please give online at this link. Your gift today will bless future students as they train for and prepare to engage in the ministry of racial reconciliation in church and in society.
For those who wish to be considered for a Multicultural Student Scholarship from Thrive, information and an application are found at this link.